Friday, March 20, 2015

Some Good Advice on Writing

Well, my life is still busy, but I was reading my favorite websites the other day and saw this article by Nina Amir about writing a book.  Since I just recently started my own exercise routine, the author's comparison of writing to exercising really resonated with me. Check it out!

So You Want to Write a Book? Just Do It!

Start with page one. Then write page two and so on. Before you know it, you’ll have a manuscript. As author Donald Murray once told America’s Writing Coach, Roy Peter Clark, “Remember: A page a day equals a book a year.”

I admit I’ve simplified the task a bit. There are the ideation and research that go into writing a book. You have to determine the structure and content. Some writers need a gestation period before they begin writing. And you may feel you need time to learn how to write a book. But the best way to become an author—actually the only way—involves producing a manuscript. You must write.

As the adage goes: Writers write. If you want to be a writer or an author, there’s no way around this fact.

Check out the rest of the article at

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Word of the Week: Weal

Today's word of the week is sort of a twofer. 'Weal' has two senses, each of which has its own distinct definition. 

Word: weal

How you say it: [weel]

What it is: noun

How to pluralize it: weals

What it means: Sense 1: 1.) a raised mark on the surface of the body produced by a blow. Also called wale, welt, wheal. Sense 2: 1.) Archaic. prosperity or wellbeing (now esp in the phrases the public weal, the common weal) 2.) Obsolete. the state 3.) Obsolete. wealth (Definitions courtesy of The British Dictionary via

[Side note: Archaic means that a word is not used commonly in modern language (thee is an archaic form of you), and most examples of it will be in older writings. Obsolete means a word is no longer used in that way.]

Use it three times and it's yours! Using a word three times can help it stick in your memory.

When he got home from school, he tried to hide the weals that the bully had given him.

The lord told his serfs that the unusual weather was sign that there would be weal in abundance.

The whips left ugly weals on Jesus' back.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Flashbacks Again

Hello, readers! Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have been busy, and it's been hard to make time for blogging.

After my last post on flashbacks, I was asked if I could provide an example of how it's done. Being short on time, I cheated and did a Google search. I found this awesome blog post by Paige Duke that breaks down the anatomy of a flashback in The Hunger Games. 

Here's a teaser for their post. I highly recommend that you read the whole thing. 

Creating a Strong Framework

Because a flashback halts the forward motion of the narrative, the reader must care about the character before you throw the car in reverse. Collins’ flashback comes in Chapter 2, which might seem early, but we’re already hooked into the action of the story and tied to the fate of the character. Because Katniss has just volunteered to take her sister’s place in the Games—a death sentence for sure. And she’s about to find out who else she’ll have to face in the arena.
Peeta Mellark! Oh, no, I think. Not him … I try to convince myself it doesn’t matter. Peeta Mellark and I are not friends. Not even neighbors. We don’t speak. Our only real interaction happened years ago. He’s probably forgotten it. But I haven’t and I know I never will.…

The First Sentences

There are two things to note about a strong first sentence of a flashback. First, it’s a transition, so it needs to be strategic. Whether it’s smooth or abrupt, seamless or jarring, it should be that way intentionally. Maybe this flashback comes to your character in a natural way when a sense of smell triggers the memory. Or maybe they’re thrust back into a tense and painful moment in time, caught completely off guard. The effect is different, so use this transition point to its full advantage.


I hope that helps everybody write stronger, more awesome flashbacks! Now get out there and write!

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